In his epic book, the 7 Habit of Highly Effective People, the late Stephen Covey said that we live in a WIN-LOSE society. Many children are raised to think that winning is everything. They also grow up idolizing sports figures as if they were mythical Gods. We won't solve the problem anytime soon but maybe some additional awareness will increase our sensitivity to the issue. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Where do we draw the line?
Are we taking college sports too seriously?
Last month, Ohio State hired Urban Meyer to coach football for $4 million a year plus bonuses (playing in the B.C.S. National Championship game nets him an extra $250,000; a graduation rate over 80 percent would be worth $150,000). He has personal use of a private jet.
Dr. Aubrecht, a physics professor at Ohio State, says he doesn't have enough money in his own budget to cover attendance at conferences. “From a business perspective,” he can see why Coach Meyer was hired, but he calls the package just more evidence that the “tail is wagging the dog.”
~ Excerpt from How Big-Time Sports Ate College Life by Laura Pappano -- New York Times, 01.20.2012
Do we live in a "win-lose" society?
Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing--that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life becomes a zero-sum game. There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me; it's not fair, and I'm going to make sure you don't get anymore. We all play the game, but how much fun is it really?
Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good!
~ Stephen R. Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
On a related note...
Wall Street executives say "wrongdoing is necessary"
Isolated Incident or Pervasive Patronizing? (err, Paterno-izing)
Speaking of cockroaches, the video below from Fox News describes how Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago for fear of bad publicity, allowing the former assistant football coach to prey on other youngsters, according to a scathing report issued Thursday on the scandal. All of this makes me wonder, is this an isolated incident or yet another example of the pervasive patronizing that permeates our populace? You make the call, sports fans...
Are we predictably irrational?
Lest we focus too much on sensational headlines (you really can't make this stuff up) I want to introduce you to the work of a behavioral economist that just makes a lot of sense to me. In the video below, Dan Ariely (visiting professor @MIT and aspiring comedian) talks about the "bugs" in our moral code (i.e., the hidden reasons we think it's OK to cheat and steal). He uses clever studies to make his point that we are predictably irrational and can be influenced in ways we cannot grasp. According to Ariely, the most difficult thing for most of us is to recognize that, sometimes, we are so blinded by our own incentives that we cannot see how our conflicts of interest work on us...
Dan Ariely talks about our "buggy" moral code...
Video Source: TED
RAMBLE ON, the name of my SLOG was inspired by the Led Zeppelin song with the same name. It also describes the content, which reflects my very random observations about life, work and my endless pursuit of the sublime. See tag list below...
My "Fiscal Cliff" Playlist
"When you realize how little you know, you have become a philosopher."
~ Socrates ~